I clearly have a bias in me. See, I’m a tiny bit miscast as the editor of a website called The Sweet Science. I like to watch fighters.
Slick willies, the cuties who pose and spend more time slipping and ducking than delivering meaningful strikes, I’m not generally a fan.
I like to see back and forth trading, and dig Witherspoonian-style overhand rights. I know the point for boxers is to hit and not be hit, but as a watcher, I prefer a give and take. There’s more drama in that. Defensive wizards, to me, often sap the drama out of a fight before it builds.
Which brings me to Cory Spinks.
In his last outing, in May of 2007, he slipped and ducked and grabbed and danced his way for 12 rounds against Jermain Taylor. I’ve watched worse fights, I’m sure, but darn, that one was a severe stenchbomb. Taylor, then fighting at middleweight, didn’t press the issue against a career welterweight, and Spinks looked more intent on surviving than anything else. He was crushed when the decision was announced, and the judges said that Taylor did more in the contest.
Me, I made a mental note that out coverage of the next Cory Spinks outing would be minimal at best. We wouldn’t ignore it, because that would be excessively rash, but after unleashing a wretched performance such as that, I didn’t think we needed to use up the space on a boxer who put on a dreadful show, and then compounded his screwup by whining how he was robbed. Sir, the people who spent an hour watching your exercise in the something less than manly art of self defense, those were the victims of robbery.
I felt like I, and other fight fans who tuned in to see…hello, a fight, were the real victims of a Spinks Jinx.
Time has passed, and I have watched many a stinkeroo since then.
Why just last week, I watched Wladimir Klitschko putrificati…I mean, unification match against Sultan Ibragimov, which boiled down featured about two minutes worth of actual fighting.
So my anti-Spinks stance has softened. Heck, my disgust at the Klitschko fight has diminished, thanks to some of you astute readers, who reminded me that this was one outing, that Klitschko hadn’t posed and postured in this fashion, to this degree, in some time.
This is all a preface to the notice that on March 27, Cory Spinks will once again be stepping into a ring, this time to face 38-year-old Verno Phillips, the former WBO junior middleweight, WBU junior middleweight, and IBF junior middleweight beltholder. Will Spinks erase the stink? He maintains he will.
“I know Verno is a veteran that knows his way around the ring,” Spinks said. “But I want a moment of silence for Verno Phillips’s career because I’m going to put it to rest in St. Louis on March 27.”
Great line. But the real proof will come in St Louis, when we’ll see if Cory (36-4, just 11 KOs) truly understands that a fighter gains the most accolades and money when he fights, instead of slipping and sliding and dodging through a contest.
Philips saw the Taylor/Spinks fight. He knows that Cory might be in stinker mode once again when they get it on.
“Nobody’s taken my heart away in my career and Cory Spinks isn’t going to do that,” Phillips (41-10-1, 21 KOs) said. “You don’t punch. Don’t run and hide. Come to fight.”
I’m guessing, because neither man has very heavy hands, that both Spinks and Phillips will be in it to win it, and won’t be afraid to set down on their punches. Spinks was overly respectful of Taylor’s power when they met, and that won’t be the case in St. Louis.